Evaluation of pre-service training on integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness in Ethiopia

  • A Haileamlak
  • S Hailu
  • H Nida
  • T Desta
  • T Tesema
Keywords: IMNCI, pre-service, Ethiopia

Abstract

Background: The Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness strategy equips health workers with essential knowledge and skills to effectively manage sick children with common neonatal and childhood diseases. Since in-service training is very demanding to achieve the desired coverage of training of health workers, pre-service training is taken as a solution. At the time of the survey, most public and some private health professionals’ training institutions were conducting pre-service training. However, several concerns have been expressed on the training. Therefore, this survey was conducted to assess the status of pre-service Integrated Management of New-born and Childhood Illness training. Methods: A cross sectional survey on health professional training institutes/schools to evaluate pre-service Inte-grated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness training was conducted in November 2007. Data was col-lected using pre-tested questionnaires, focused group interviews with teachers and students, observation of stu-dents while managing sick children using Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness guidelines, and reviews of pediatric course outlines and other teaching/learning materials. Data was entered in computer and analyzed using SPSS for Windows version 12.0.1. Results: Twenty nine health professionals’ training institutions (34 academic programs) which have started pre-service training were included in the survey. Of the 34 programs 22 were diploma nursing, 6 Bachelor of Sciences nursing, 4 health officer and the remaining two medicine. Thirty (88.2%) programs have integrated it in their cur-riculum. All academic programs had at least one fulltime staff for Integrated Management of Newborn and Child-hood Illness classroom instruction. Twenty nine (85.3%) programs had staff trained in case management skills. All the 34 academic programs taught health workers skills, 28(82.3%) used mixed approach. Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was either incorporated for 21 (61.8%) or added to the previous teaching 11 (32.3%). The instructor to student ratio was low for most of the schools. Main challenges encountered in the pre-service teaching were constraints with trained staff and other resources each by 28 (82.3%) programs. Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was included in student evaluation by all programs (100%). All students and instructors (100%) rated that Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness concept is very relevant or extremely relevant but majority said the time given was short. The over all mean score of students clinical practice was 63.5%. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was intro-duced into the teaching programs of most health professional training institutions. The most preferred teaching style was the mixed approach. Group discussion and demonstration were commonly used methods and Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness questions were included in students’ evaluation in almost all pro-grams. Shortage of IMNCI trained staff and teaching materials were major challenges. The use of teaching materi-als prepared for pre-service training like handbook and model chapter was limited. Instructors and students atti-tude towards IMNCI was very good. The students overall performance in managing sick child as per the IMNCI guidelines was above average. We recommend that the respective bodies at every level make every effort to strengthen IMNCI pre-service teaching through revisiting curricula, facilitating staff training, availing teaching materials and allocating adequate time. Exploring for an alternative/innovative and sustainable training approach is an assignment for all.
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1029-1857
print ISSN: 1029-1857